Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Gorges de Regalon (4h including 30 min. lunch)

This is perhaps one of the most popular walks in the Luberon. The Regalon presents its challenges for non-fit adults, but kids just love all the small places for climbing along this very narrow gorge. Do not attempt the gorge in rain or just after rain fall. The rocks become even more slippery when wet. It is also a nice cool walk in the summer with little sun in the gorge.

In order to get a pleasant round trip (the gorge represents more challenges going down than up, so avoid going back the same way), we suggest you park in front of Chapelle Ste-Therese in La Roquette. On the D973 towards Cavaillon, you pass the signpost for Gorges de Regalon, and continue along the D973 another 2km and take right for La Roquette. The Chapelle is on the right after just over 100 meters.

The walk starts along this road (follow yellow markings) going north till you get to a yellow signpost after about 500 meters. Here you turn right (for Regalon) and continue along yellow markings till you get to the next signpost after about 1 km. Here you turn right again (for Regalon) and after about 1.5 km you will be at the next signpost just before the large parking for Gorges de Regalon. Here, you turn left (for Merindol), but take almost immediately left again for the large car park. Now take the large trail taking off straight north at the end of this car park (not marked any colour). After some 10 minutes from the car park, you reach an olive grove and you follow the grove to the start of the gorges, about 15 minutes north of the parking, or almost 1 hour from the car.

The Gorges starts off quite wide, but will soon narrow in to only the size of a person. Some parts will take some time to get through, especially if there are many people, but after about 30 minutes (a lot longer if you take photos or are having problems) you have covered the main part of the gorges and you reach a new yellow sign post. Continue the path straight ahead (for l’Agranier) and after about another 10 minutes easy walking you reach the yellow signpost at the forest road that passes here.

On the forest road, you turn left (for Valon de Galere) and continue the now wide gorge for another 20 minutes for the next signpost. Here, you just continue the road straight ahead (for Regalon) and you reach the end of the Gorge de Regalon after only some 150 meters where the main forest road goes. Now you have walked for about 2h and there is nice open spaces for pick-nick (shaded), and you have another 1.5h back to the car.

At the main forest road you turn left (for Regalon) and continue the curve upwards out of the Gorges for about 600 meters till you reach the next yellow signpost at a water reserve (Citern at 369m). This is a large junction, so be sure you take the first left turn (for Regalon). You reach the farm “les Mayorques” after about 20 minutes. The farm gives good shelter against the wind and rain and is popular with walkers.

The return trip from Mayorques to the car takes about 1 hour and you start out on yellow marking straight south across Crau des Mayorques. Just before going downhill (after only some 10-15min.), you have fantastic views of the Durance valley and behind you, the Luberon mountains. Eventually, you are down at the 2nd yellow sign post of this morning, where you follow the same route back to the car (follow for La Roquette).

Basic information:

Duration:       4h (incl. 30 min. lunch)
Distance:      12 km.
Ascent:         400 m
Difficulty:      Moderate
Start/finish:   La Roquette
Map:             IGN 3142 OT (1cm=250 m) - CAVAILLON

Just north of the Gorge: Where GR6 climbes up on the Luberon Crete.

les Mayorque

View of the Durance Valley.

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